A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Tag Archives: vegan recipe

Vegan Raw Balls

One of my all time favorite cookbooks is Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.  It is a wonderful vegan resource full of appetizer, breakfast, soup, salad, and dessert recipes.  The recipes are truly unique and always delicious.  My mouth always begins watering when I get to the dessert section of the cookbook.  And the Raw Balls with their chocolately nut base are no exception — they are a rich and decadent treat!

[caption id="attachment_2708" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pair of Vegan Raw Balls Pair of Vegan Raw Balls[/caption]

 

First, gather up the ingredients for the Raw Balls.  I always enjoy seeing the natural and fresh ingredients laid out on my kitchen counter.  No refined sugar here!

 

[caption id="attachment_2699" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Raw Balls Ingredients Vegan Raw Balls Ingredients[/caption]

 

The first step is to grind the walnuts in the food processor.

 

[caption id="attachment_2700" align="alignnone" width="640"]Almonds in Food Processor Almonds in Food Processor[/caption]

 

Then add the dates…

 

[caption id="attachment_2701" align="alignnone" width="640"]Adding Dates to Food Processor Adding Dates to Food Processor[/caption]

 

And mix together!

 

[caption id="attachment_2702" align="alignnone" width="640"]Dates and Almonds Mixed Together Dates and Almonds Mixed Together[/caption]

 

Then add the carob powder and the almond butter to the mixture.

 

[caption id="attachment_2703" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mixing in Almond Butter and Cacao Powder Mixing in Almond Butter and Cacao Powder[/caption]

 

Finally, add in the almonds.

 

[caption id="attachment_2704" align="alignnone" width="640"]Adding in Almonds Adding in Almonds[/caption]

 

Make sure not to over process the almonds!  These balls taste great when there are small almond chunks mixed in for added texture.

 

[caption id="attachment_2705" align="alignnone" width="640"]Raw Ball Dough with Almond Chunks Raw Ball Dough with Almond Chunks[/caption]

 

Next, it’s time to roll the mixture into small balls.  It helps if you wet your hands before trying to do this as the mixture is sticky.  Spread out the coconut flakes on a flat surface and lightly roll the balls until covered in a snowy white layer.

 

[caption id="attachment_2706" align="alignnone" width="640"]Coating Raw Balls in Coconut Flakes Coating Raw Balls in Coconut Flakes[/caption]

 

Store the Raw Balls in the freezer, and enjoy!

 

[caption id="attachment_2707" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pile of Vegan Raw Balls Pile of Vegan Raw Balls[/caption]

 

Raw Balls
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • ½ cup carob powder
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ sea salt
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Process walnuts in food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Add dates and process until combined.
  3. Add carob powder, syrup, almond butter, vanilla extract, and salt and process until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Add almonds and pulse a few times -- there should still be pieces of almonds mixed in
  5. Form mixture into golf sized balls with hands and roll in shredded coconut.
  6. Place in sealed container and freeze until hardened.

 

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

I’ve been having a real sweet tooth lately.  Maybe that’s what happens when you’re 5 months pregnant? I have been trying to at least divert my cravings to things that are somewhat healthy.  When my latest desire hit, I went to what has quickly become my favorite dessert cookbook: BabyCakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-About Bakery.  Normally, I’m a chocolate person.  However, there was something about the lemon/poppy seed combination that made me want to try it out.  And I am GLAD I did!!  I will be making this lemon poppy seed cake soon 🙂

 

[caption id="attachment_2667" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baked Loaves of Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Baked Loaves of Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Bread[/caption]

 

First, it’s time to round up the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake ingredients.

 

[caption id="attachment_2661" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Ingredients Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Ingredients[/caption]

 

Place the rice milk, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds in a bowl without stirring, and set the bowl aside.

 

[caption id="attachment_2662" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Wet Ingredients Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Wet Ingredients[/caption]

 

Measure out and mix together the lemon poppy seed cake dry ingredients — the gluten-free flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.

 

[caption id="attachment_2663" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Wet Ingredients Lemon Poppy Seed Wet Ingredients[/caption]

 

Then it’s time to add the wet ingredients — coconut oil, agave nectar, apple sauce, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon peel.

 

[caption id="attachment_2664" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Wet Ingredients Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Wet Ingredients[/caption]

 

Finally, add in the poppy seed mixture and combine.

 

[caption id="attachment_2665" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Wet Ingredients Mixed Together Lemon Poppy Seed Wet Ingredients Mixed Together[/caption]

 

Grease the loaf pan (I decided to make mini loafs!) with coconut oil, and pour the batter in.  My batter was runnier than other loaf and cake batter I have made in the past.  But don’t worry!

 

[caption id="attachment_2666" align="alignnone" width="640"]Lemon Poppy Seed Batter in MIni Loaf Pan Lemon Poppy Seed Batter in MIni Loaf Pan[/caption]

 

My mini lemon poppy seed cake loaves turned out very well — they were super moist and a delightful contrast of sweet and tangy flavors.

 

[caption id="attachment_2668" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baked Lemon Poppy Seed Loaves in Pan Baked Lemon Poppy Seed Loaves in Pan[/caption]

 

I will for sure be making this lemon poppy seed cake again soon!!

 

[caption id="attachment_2671" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Bread Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Bread[/caption]

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
 
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup gluten-free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil, plus extra to grease loaf pan
  • ¾ cup agave nectar
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • t tablespoons lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Put rice milk, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds in bowl. Do NOT stir and set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten-free flour, the brown rice flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt
  4. Then add the coconut oil, agave nectar, applesauce, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and mix together.
  5. Stir in the rice milk, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seed mixture.
  6. Grease loaf pan with coconut oil.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan and cook for 35 minutes. Rotate pan in oven 180 degrees after 18 minutes.
  8. Allow cake to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then use a knife to run around the edge of the loaf. Gently flip the loaf pan upside down and allow loaf to fall out into your hand. Place on a plate.
  9. Serve immediately or wait until completely cool to store in airtight container.

 

Red, White, and Blue Vegan 4th of July Cake!

I love holidays and holiday food.  But I’ve never had a really great dessert recipe for the 4th of July.  Until now.  Today’s post is all about Hannah Kaminsky’s red, white, and blue cake recipe from her cookbook Vegan Desserts: Sumptuous Sweets for Every Season.  No one will be able to resist this raspberry cake topped with light white icing and fresh blueberries.  All in all, it is the perfect summer treat.

 

[caption id="attachment_2612" align="alignnone" width="640"]Piece of 4th of July Cake Piece of 4th of July Cake[/caption]

 

Raspberry Cake:

 

First up is the raspberry cake.  Take a bag of frozen raspberries out of the freezer and allow to thaw.

 

[caption id="attachment_2598" align="alignnone" width="640"]Raspberries in Food Processor Raspberries in Food Processor[/caption]

 

Place the raspberries in a food processor and puree.

 

[caption id="attachment_2599" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pureed Raspberries Pureed Raspberries[/caption]

 

Then it’s time to gather and combine the remaining cake ingredients.

 

[caption id="attachment_2600" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cake Ingredients Cake Ingredients[/caption]

 

Add the raspberry puree…

 

[caption id="attachment_2601" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mixing in Raspberries Mixing in Raspberries[/caption]

 

And you will end up with a beautiful (and tasty!) red batter.

 

[caption id="attachment_2602" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cake Batter Cake Batter[/caption]

 

Lightly grease and flour your cake pans.

 

[caption id="attachment_2603" align="alignnone" width="640"]Prepared Cake Pan Prepared Cake Pan[/caption]

 

And divide the batter evenly between the two pans.  You can begin to bake your cakes while you make the frosting.

 

[caption id="attachment_2604" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cake Batter in Pan Cake Batter in Pan[/caption]

 

Frosting:

 

This frosting was easy to make and unlike any other I had made before.

 

[caption id="attachment_2605" align="alignnone" width="640"]Making Frosting Making Frosting[/caption]

 

For starters, you will need a saucepan! Who knew that when you combine cornstarch and non-dairy milk over heat, it takes on an entirely different texture?

 

[caption id="attachment_2606" align="alignnone" width="640"]Thickened Corn Starch and Almond Milk Thickened Corn Starch and Almond Milk[/caption]

 

As you let that the mixture in the saucepan cool, cream together the sugar and Earth Balance.

 

[caption id="attachment_2608" align="alignnone" width="640"]Blended Earth Balance and Sugar Blended Earth Balance and Sugar[/caption]

 

Then add the saucepan mixture to the mixer.  Blend the icing for a few minutes until thoroughly combined.

NOTE: I think this is where I took a mis-step while making my cake.  My frosting didn’t come together as well as I had hoped, but I only mixed the ingredients together for about 20 seconds.  I suggest taking seriously Ms. Kaminsky recommended blending time of 2-3 minutes.  You will likely end up with a much smoother icing than I did!

 

[caption id="attachment_2609" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mixing Frosting Mixing Frosting[/caption]

 

Then it’s time to make the cake!!  Place one of the cakes on a plate or cake stand, add a layer of icing, and add the second cake on top.

 

[caption id="attachment_2610" align="alignnone" width="640"]Assembling Cake Assembling Cake[/caption]

 

Ice the outside of the cake and adorn with fresh blueberries in any way you wish.  I loved the light, fresh flavor of this cake.  Perfect for a hot summer day and a great alternative to red velvet.  I also think that the recipe would be great as cupcakes!   I hope this recipe makes your 4th of July brighter and happier!

 

[caption id="attachment_2682" align="alignnone" width="640"]Slice of red, white, and blue cake Slice of red, white, and blue cake[/caption]

 

Red, White, and Blue 4th of July Vegan Cake!
 
Ingredients
  • CAKE:
  • 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ½ cup plain non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup earth balance
  • 1 and ⅓ cups sugar
  • 2 and ¾ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup plain non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup earth balance
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, for decoration
Instructions
  1. CAKE:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease and flour 2 8" round pans
  3. Put raspberries in food processor and puree
  4. Mix together remaining ingredients and cream together
  5. Add in raspberry mixture
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans
  7. Bake for 24-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean
  8. Allow to cool completely before frosting
  9. FROSTING:
  10. Place cornstarch and non-dairy milk into saucepan
  11. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat
  12. Continue to stir until mixture is thick like a pudding
  13. Allow to cool before proceeding with the next step
  14. Cream together the sugar and earth balance
  15. Add in cooled pudding mixture until light and fluffy
  16. Frost cake and decorate with fresh blueberries

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Last week it was cold and rainy in San Diego (ie weather Southern Californians consider to be “winter”).  And so I decided I would warm up with some home made soup!  I love making this Curried Butternut Squash Soup (inspired by a non-vegan recipe from Runner’s World)!  The curry powder and coconut milk ensure that the soup is super creamy and full of flavor.

 

[caption id="attachment_2224" align="alignnone" width="640"]Curried Butternut Squash Soup Curried Butternut Squash Soup[/caption]

 

First, gather your ingredients!

 

[caption id="attachment_2200" align="alignnone" width="640"]Curried Butternut Squash Ingredients Curried Butternut Squash Ingredients[/caption]

 

The most time intensive part of the soup preparation is peeling and cooking the squash!  First, peel and cut up the squash.

 

[caption id="attachment_2201" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chopped Butternut Squash Chopped Butternut Squash[/caption]

 

Next, it’s time to place the squash pieces in a bowl and lightly coat them with olive oil.  You can also add a dash of salt and pepper if you like!

 

[caption id="attachment_2202" align="alignnone" width="640"]Butternut Squash Pieces in Bowl Butternut Squash Pieces in Bowl[/caption]

 

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spread the squash on top.

 

[caption id="attachment_2220" align="alignnone" width="640"]Uncooked Butternut Squash on Cookie Tray Uncooked Butternut Squash on Cookie Tray[/caption]

 

Remember that cooking will shrink the squash!

 

[caption id="attachment_2221" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cooked Butternut Squash on Cookie Sheet Cooked Butternut Squash on Cookie Sheet[/caption]

 

Next, place all of the soup ingredients into the blender, and combine until smooth!

 

[caption id="attachment_2222" align="alignnone" width="640"]Curried Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients in Blender Curried Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients in Blender[/caption]

 

The best part is that if you blend the ingredients while the squash is still hot, you won’t need to heat the soup up!  Simply pour the it into bowls and serve!

 

[caption id="attachment_2223" align="alignnone" width="640"]Butternut Squash Soup Topped with Vegan Sour Cream and a Sprig of Parsley Butternut Squash Soup Topped with Vegan Sour Cream and a Sprig of Parsley[/caption]

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups butternut squash
  • 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. BUTTERNUT SQUASH:
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Peel butternut squash and slice up into chunks
  4. Put chunks into bowl and lightly cover with olive oil.
  5. Place butternut squash on tinfoil lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake butternut squash for 30 - 40 minutes or until soft.
  7. SOUP:
  8. Place butternut squash, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and salt into blender.
  9. Blend until smooth.
  10. Garnish with vegan sour cream or additional curry powder.

 

Coconut Milk (Home Made!)

I love all things coconut.  Especially coconut milk.  It tastes great on its own or as an addition to smoothies or oatmeal!  While commercial brands of coconut milk are available for purchase (thank you So Delicious and Trader Joe’s!), there’s nothing quite like the taste of home made coconut milk.  It’s a drink you’ll want to savor.  And when you make it at home, you know it’s free from added sugars and preservatives. 

Another plus?  Research is beginning to show possible health benefits from consuming coconut products.  Consuming coconut may assist in losing weight, strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, and improving skin and hair health.  For more details, click on the link below:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/409614-the-health-benefits-of-coconut-milk/

 

[caption id="attachment_2016" align="alignnone" width="640"]Coconut Milk Coconut Milk[/caption]

 

The ingredient list for this recipe is simple: 1 young coconut.  Young coconuts are white on the outside and are usually clearly labeled.

 

[caption id="attachment_2008" align="alignnone" width="640"]Young Coconut Young Coconut[/caption]

 

Use a large, sharp knife to begin to break into the coconut about 1 – 1.5 inches from the point of the coconut.

 

[caption id="attachment_2009" align="alignnone" width="640"]Preparing Young Coconut Preparing Young Coconut[/caption]

 

If your knife (like mine!) isn’t sharp, it may be necessary to shave off the sides of the coconut to gain access to the shell underneath.

 

[caption id="attachment_2010" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cutting Young Coconut Cutting Young Coconut[/caption]

 

My best advice?  Don’t give up!  When a crack appears in the shell, you are well on your way.  I often use the tip of my knife or fingers as leverage to finish opening the coconut.  As long as you are careful, anything goes!

 

[caption id="attachment_2011" align="alignnone" width="615"]Opened Young Coconut Opened Young Coconut[/caption]

 

Pour the coconut water into your blender and use a spoon to scrape the meat from the shell.

 

[caption id="attachment_2012" align="alignnone" width="640"]Scraping Meat Out of Young Coconut Scraping Meat Out of Young Coconut[/caption]

 

You will end up with a good sized pile of coconut meat (I can never resist eating a piece!).  It’s then time to pick off any small, brown pieces of shell that are stuck to the coconut meat.

 

[caption id="attachment_2013" align="alignnone" width="640"]Young Coconut Meat Young Coconut Meat[/caption]

 

Add the cleaned coconut meat to the coconut water in the blender.

 

[caption id="attachment_2014" align="alignnone" width="640"]Coconut Water and Meat Coconut Water and Meat[/caption]

 

And blend until smooth!  You’re then ready to enjoy a glass of fresh, creamy coconut milk!

 

[caption id="attachment_2017" align="alignnone" width="640"]Aerial View of Coconut Milk Aerial View of Coconut Milk[/caption]

 

Home Made Coconut Milk (Plus How to Open a Coconut)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 young coconut
Instructions
  1. Open young coconut (see tips on opening above)
  2. Pour coconut water into blender
  3. Scrape coconut meat from coconut shell
  4. Scrape any brown shell pieces from the meat
  5. Add cleaned coconut meat to blender
  6. Blend until smooth
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate

 

Very Berry Vegan Muffins

Babycakes Cookbook:

 

I love new cookbooks.  I read them cover to cover.  I flip through the pages scanning ingredient lists and baking instructions until my eyes start to cross.  There is always something new to learn.  My newest reading material?  The Babycakes cookbook.  Didn’t I just write a post about Babycakes’ vegan, gluten-free brownies and say that I didn’t own the cookbook but wished I did?  Yes!  But then I saw it when I was out shopping.  Happy holidays to me!

In 2004, Erin McKenna was diagnosed with wheat and dairy allergies.  She looked at the available desserts and decided it was a “wasteland of uninspired products.”  So, she created her own recipes and opened Babycakes in New York City (now also with locations in Los Angeles and Orlando).  Happily, for those of us who don’t live in city that has a Babycakes, she has shared her recipes in a cookbook!

 

 

Things I love about the Babycakes Cookbook:

 

(1) There is a photo of each recipe.

(2) McKenna includes a “Tools, Ingredients, and Tips” section to orient those new to baking or vegan ingredients.

(3) McKenna introduces each recipe with a short vignette.

(4)  Celebrities (think Natalie Portman and Pamela Anderson!) have shared which Babycakes baked good they can’t live without!

 

[caption id="attachment_1881" align="alignnone" width="640"]Close Up of Vegan Muffin Close Up of Vegan Muffin[/caption]

 

Raspberry Muffins:

 

I decided to make raspberry muffins (you can substitute other berries if you prefer!).  I love experimenting in the kitchen, and I was excited to use some new ingredients.  Like spelt flour.

 

Spelt Flour:

 

Spelt is one of the oldest cultivated grains — it can be traced back more than 6,000 years to Mesopotamia. Spelt is a distant cousin of wheat.  Although spelt (like wheat) contains gluten, it is easier to digest (and in fact some individuals with gluten sensitivities are able to digest spelt without issue).  Why is spelt easier to digest than wheat?  (1) Spelt’s gluten is water soluble and breaks down more easily than wheat’s gluten.  (2) Spelt, an ancient grain, has retained its hard outer hull for pest protection.  Modern wheat no longer has an outer hull and protects itself from pests with enzyme inhibitors (and enzymes are what we use to digest food!).

To read more about spelt and wheat check out:

www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/benefitsofspelt.htm

 

The best part of the ingredient list? What was missing.  There was no refined sugar on the list.  Amazing.

 

[caption id="attachment_1872" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Raspberry Muffin Ingredients Vegan Raspberry Muffin Ingredients[/caption]

 

First, all of the dry ingredients went into a bowl.

 

[caption id="attachment_1873" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muffin Dry Ingredients Vegan Muffin Dry Ingredients[/caption]

 

Next, it was time to add the wet ingredients.  I dutifully added the lemon extract even as I was wondering if I had just bought an unnecessary bottle that would further clutter up my already bursting kitchen.

 

[caption id="attachment_1874" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Wet and Dry Muffin Ingredients Vegan Wet and Dry Muffin Ingredients[/caption]

 

I mixed everything together…

 

[caption id="attachment_1875" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muffin Batter Vegan Muffin Batter[/caption]

 

And added the raspberries.

 

[caption id="attachment_1876" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muffin Batter with Raspberries Vegan Muffin Batter with Raspberries[/caption]

 

I then evenly divided the batter into a lined muffin tray,

 

[caption id="attachment_1877" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muffin Batter in Muffin Tin Vegan Muffin Batter in Muffin Tin[/caption]

 

And baked!

 

[caption id="attachment_1878" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baked Vegan Muffins Baked Vegan Muffins[/caption]

 

These muffins were not just good.  They were great.  The biggest test came when it was time for my fiancé to try one.  He doesn’t really like muffins (which I absolutely do NOT understand!).  In the past, this has left me with eating or gifting any muffins that I have baked.  This time was different.   He declared that they were “really special,” and polished off two.

Was it the lemon extract that I so grudgingly added that made these muffins magic?  I don’t know.   What I do know is that I will happily make space in my kitchen for the lemon extract, so I can make these muffins again.  Often.

 

[caption id="attachment_1879" align="alignnone" width="640"]Vegan Muffin Cut in Half Vegan Muffin Cut in Half[/caption]

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Very Berry Vegan Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 2.25 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup agave nectar
  • ⅔ cup rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ⅔ cups berries (raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325
  2. Put muffin liners in tin.
  3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
  4. Mix in the coconut oil, agave nectar, rice, milk, vanilla, and lemon extract.
  5. Gently mix in the berries.
  6. Pour batter into lined muffin pans.
  7. Bake muffins for 22 minutes. After 15 minutes, rotate muffin pan 180 degrees so muffins bake evenly.
  8. Check muffins with toothpick. Muffins are finished, when the toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Enjoy immediately or allow to cool completely and store in airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Lasagna

Is there anything better than a piece of hearty lasagna in the middle of winter?  San Diego’s December nights might not rival other parts of the country, but it still feels cold to me!  A good vegan lasagna recipe eluded me for years.  That was until I tried Angela Liddon’s recipe from her vegan blog, Oh She Glows.  According to Tom (that’s my boyfriend for those of you who are new readers!), the lasagna is “better than any dish in a restaurant.”  To see Ms. Liddon’s lasagna post click on:

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/11/07/vegan-lasagna-with-basil-cashew-cheeze/

 

[caption id="attachment_1703" align="alignnone" width="640"]Piece of Lasagna Piece of Lasagna[/caption]

 

The brilliance of this lasagna is the basil cashew cheese.  Most vegan lasagna recipes try to mimic vegan ricotta cheese and the results are tasteless.  The basil and lemon give this cheese and the lasagna as a whole a bold, zesty flavor.

Round up the ingredients.

 

[caption id="attachment_1683" align="alignnone" width="640"]Basil Cashew Cheese Ingredients Basil Cashew Cheese Ingredients[/caption]

 

You’ll notice that this recipe calls for 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water.  I like using vegetable broth, because it helps to enhance flavor.  In the past, I often found myself buying 32 ounce boxes of vegetable broth, using a small portion, and then having the remainder sit in my refrigerator forgotten long after its expiration date.   So, I was thrilled when I attended a cooking class and experimented with Better Than Bouillon, a paste that when mixed with water makes a savory vegetable broth.  Now I keep a jar of it on hand, so I can make vegetable broth whenever I want!

 

 

Throw all of the ingredients in the blender.

 

[caption id="attachment_1684" align="alignnone" width="640"]Basil Cashew Cheese Ingredients in Blender Basil Cashew Cheese Ingredients in Blender[/caption]

 

After the ingredients are blended, you will end up with a bright, green sauce.

 

[caption id="attachment_1686" align="alignnone" width="640"]Basil Cashew Cheese in Bowl Basil Cashew Cheese in Bowl[/caption]

 

It’s then time to begin on the other lasagna layers.  Chop up the onion and garlic…

 

[caption id="attachment_1688" align="alignnone" width="640"]Onion and Garlic Onion and Garlic[/caption]

 

And sautee them in a pan.

 

[caption id="attachment_1689" align="alignnone" width="640"]Onion and Garlic in Pan Onion and Garlic in Pan[/caption]

 

Then chop up the zucchini, mushrooms,

 

[caption id="attachment_1690" align="alignnone" width="640"]Chopped Veggies Chopped Veggies[/caption]

 

And bell peppers.  Then add all of the veggies to the pan with the onion and garlic.

 

[caption id="attachment_1692" align="alignnone" width="640"]Sauteed Veggies Sauteed Veggies[/caption]

 

And what would lasagna be without the noodles?  Add the noodles to boiling water.  Remember to cook them al dente.  They will continue to soften and absorb moisture while the lasagna cooks in the oven.

 

[caption id="attachment_1695" align="alignnone" width="640"]Noodles Boiling in Water Noodles Boiling in Water[/caption]

 

Drain the noodles, and rinse them with cold water.

 

[caption id="attachment_1696" align="alignnone" width="640"]Noodles in Strainer Noodles in Strainer[/caption]

 

The hard part is over.  It’s now time to assemble the lasagna!  First, begin with a layer of marinara sauce.  Use 1/3 of your marinara sauce for this layer (you will use the rest for additional layers later).

 

[caption id="attachment_1693" align="alignnone" width="640"]1st Layer: Tomato Sauce 1st Layer: Tomato Sauce[/caption]

 

Next the spinach layer.  I like to add lots of spinach to give this vegan lasagna extra nutrition!

 

[caption id="attachment_1705" align="alignnone" width="640"]2nd Layer: Spinach 2nd Layer: Spinach[/caption]

 

Then add a layer of noodles!

 

[caption id="attachment_1697" align="alignnone" width="640"]3rd Layer: Noodles 3rd Layer: Noodles[/caption]

 

And a layer of basil cashew cheese.

 

[caption id="attachment_1698" align="alignnone" width="640"]4th Layer: Basil Cashew Cheese 4th Layer: Basil Cashew Cheese[/caption]

 

And finally a layer of veggies.

 

[caption id="attachment_1699" align="alignnone" width="640"]5th Layer: Vegetables 5th Layer: Vegetables[/caption]

 

It’s then time to do it all again!  Tomato sauce, spinach, noodles, basil cashew cheese, and vegetables.  Finally, add a 3rd layer of marinara sauce and a liberal sprinkling of shredded vegan cheese!

 

[caption id="attachment_1701" align="alignnone" width="640"]Final Layer: Vegan Cheese Final Layer: Vegan Cheese[/caption]

 

Cover the lasagna with tin foil and put it in the oven.  Soon your home will begin to fill with mouth-watering aromas.  Remember to then remove the tin foil off, and cook the lasagna for an additional 5 minutes!

 

[caption id="attachment_1707" align="alignnone" width="640"]Taking Tin Foil Off of Vegan Lasagna Taking Tin Foil Off of Vegan Lasagna[/caption]

 

The lasagna is almost too beautiful to cut!

 

[caption id="attachment_1702" align="alignnone" width="640"]Baked Vegan Lasagna Baked Vegan Lasagna[/caption]

 

But just almost.  If you’re like me, you’ll want to cut a piece, and try it while it’s still hot!

 

[caption id="attachment_1720" align="alignnone" width="640"]Piece of Vegan Lasagna Piece of Vegan Lasagna[/caption]

 

Unless you’re serving this lasagna at a big dinner party, you’re sure to have leftovers.  This lasagna tastes great cold or re-heated in the toaster oven.  I’ve been known to eat a piece for breakfast!

 

Vegan Lasagna
 
Ingredients
  • Basil Cashew Cheese
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lasagna
  • 10 ounce box of lasagna noodles
  • 1.5 bottles of marinara sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cups sweet onion
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 bag vegan shredded cheese (I used Daiya)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and bell pepper to pan and continue to sautee.
  4. Add salt to sautee for extra flavor.
  5. Bring large pot of water to a boil, and boil noodles for 8 minutes.
  6. Rinse immediately with cold water. Note that the noodles will not be fully cooked. They will continue to absorb moisture while cooking in the oven.
  7. Add ⅓ of your marinara sauce to the casserole dish. Add a layer of spinach, noodles, half of the basil cashew cheese, and half of the vegetables.
  8. Add the second portion of your marinara sauce, another layer of spinach and noodles, the other half of the basil cashew cheese, and the other half of the vegetables.
  9. Add the final portion of marinara sauce and liberally sprinkle the shredded vegan cheese on top of the casserole.
  10. Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove tin foil and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator.